The Immorality of the Sons of Jacob

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The Immorality of the Sons of Jacob

Post  Bible Bot on Wed 12 Jan 2011, 3:56 pm

INTRODUCTION: Read Genesis 34:25-29

1. The sons of Jacob grew up in a world of winner-take-all attitudes in the company of Laban the Syrian.

1) As they grew to maturity they ignored the lessons of faith learned by Abraham and lived like the world around them where might made right and the “golden” rule was whoever has the gold makes the rules.

2) The record of the immorality of Jacob’s sons begins with Reuben lying with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine (Genesis 35:22). The consequence of this action was that Reuben lost his first-born status (Genesis 49:3-4).

3) Simeon and Levi showed their cruelty when they slaughtered all the men of Shalem when one of them had defiled Dinah, their sister (Genesis 34:25-26).

4) They sold their brother into Egyptian slavery because of their envy of him (Genesis 37:28).

5) Judah fathered a child by Tamar, his daughter-in-law, when she dressed like a harlot and propositioned him (Genesis 38:15-18).

2. Moses told them children of Israel of these facts about their fathers as they dwelt in the wilderness.

3. What lessons did they learn from the sins of their fathers?

4. What lessons can we learn from those patriarchs of the nation of Israel?

5. This hour I’ll direct your minds to the change made by the sons of Jacob from their pride and arrogance to humility. Then we’ll see that the Gospel (God’s message to which we are to respond) is about change. Finally we’ll note the motivations that men have for change.



1. The story of these men doesn’t end without us seeing a very deep and fundamental change in them.

2. They cared only about themselves before; they were proud and arrogant men.

3. Later, when they had to face Joseph he found that they now cared for their father and were willing to risk their lives to ensure their father’s life and comfort.

4. Read the speech of Judah to Joseph and note the humility (Genesis 44:18-34). He didn’t care for himself but for his father. Joseph was convinced of the change in his brothers and treated them favorably (Genesis 45:1ff).

5. The lesson to the children of Israel was for them to be as their fathers had become. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18).


1. The Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 6:11).

2. From thieving to giving (Ephesians 4:28).

3. From murderers of the Son of God to saints (Acts 2:37-38).

4. From persecutor of the church to preacher of the Gospel (Galatians 1:23).

5. From the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13).


1. The sons of Jacob changed out of love for their father (Genesis 44:31-32).

2. For what reasons might we wish to change?

1) Love for others, to influence them for good (2 Corinthians 5:11)?

2) Love for self, to escape destruction (Matthew 16:26; 7:13-14)?

3) Fear of God’s vengeance (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Heb. 10:30-31)?

4) Love for God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)?

3. Jacob’s sons were proud and arrogant, living for themselves, taking what they wanted and ignoring the consequences for themselves and others. They changed.

4. What one can do, others can do.


1. You have a problem with sin (Romans 3:23) and it separates you from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).

2. You can change your heart by repentance (Acts 2:38).

3. You can change your influence by confession of Christ (Romans 10:9-10).

4. You can change your state by baptism (Mark 16:16).

5. You can change your life by being faithful (Revelation 2:10).

Author: G. E. Watkins

Website: The Preacher's Files
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